For this blog, I was told to think about what I would tell an incoming Freshman if I could only tell them one thing, and I had all sorts of great lines like "You are your biggest obstacle," "Don't Stop Believing," and "Timing is Everything," and "Don't waste your time." However, despite the potential for countless Journey references available in one of those titles, I have decided to go in a different direction. I've decided that since I can only tell you one thing, it's going to be something shocking, something antithetical to almost everything you have heard or read about college.
College Will Not Teach You Who You Are.
I know that you've probably read some of the many thousand articles that assert college is a time to "find yourself," "discover you" or "learn who you really are." I'm here to tell you that college simply will not do that for you. Of course, it's a time that you will learn what kind of people you like to be around. You'll be exposed to new ideas and beliefs, and you'll have to decide what your ideas and beliefs are. However, none of these things truly give you any indication about who you are, no matter what the world says.
So Who Are You?
While the world and culture will tell you that you are your beliefs, actions, preferences, habits etc, the truth of the matter is that you are a human being. As a human being, you are created in the Imago Dei, the image of God (See Genesis 1:26-29). That's right, you bear the image of the Almighty, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
I know that in the past, I have been told that I was created in God's image, but I never really understood how that would really affect my life. It seemed like a fun-fact, but now I realize that it is so much more. First and foremost, it is a great honor. Jeremiah 10:12 says, "He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion" (KJV). Our God is more awesome, mighty, wise, and strong, than we could ever comprehend, yet He deemed us important enough to create us in His image.
This importance that God has granted us should make us closely examine how we choose to live our lives. The honor that God granted us should give us a deep sense of duty. As image bearers, we shouldn't be in the habit of wasting time. For you, that means that you shouldn't waste your time at MC. You can waste your time here in so many ways like playing video games incessantly, staying on Facebook all the time, or even studying for class so much that you neglect your friends. While none of these things are intrinsically evil, you can end up spending your entire life focusing on any of these things (or anything else, really) and realize that you've missed some of the most important aspects of life--people. As image bearers, we should be actively seeking to do the work of God, creating and maintaining relationships with others, not selfishly idolizing either entertainment or knowledge.
So why is maintaining relationships so important? You see, every single person you ever see, hear of, or talk to is also someone who has been created in the Image of God. Therefore, they deserve dignity and respect regardless of their merits or actions. From the person begging in the streets to the richest person in the world, from the most devout Christian to the most sincere Atheist, from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, every single person bears the image of Christ. Knowing both who we are and who they are, we should treat all people with dignity, respect, and kindness, and that can change the world.
Simply going through college will not lead you to this most important revelation about who you are; however, the knowledge of who you are should dictate how you go through college. It will inform what kind of people you hang out with. It will inform how you respond to new ideas. It will change your life. So make the most of your time at MC, treat others with kindness and love, and create relationships that will last forever.
~Charlie, Image Bearer and Time Utilizer